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Why skiing is for fools

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

I have always admired British people that can ski. The reason being, that we get so little snow anywhere else, that skiing at any decent level was reserved for the Scots that lived in the highlands. Other than curling, which is bowls on ice, when it comes to winter sports in the UK, this is their thing.


That was until the advent of the likes of The Snowdome in Tamworth and Xscape Milton Keynes. In 2022, it seems that real snow and decent skiing is available to everybody, whether you live near a mountain or not.


Critique of the opportunity to ski is not the purpose of this blog though, the purpose of this blog is to talk about my assertion that skiing is in fact a mug's game.


Firstly, lets start with this. I do love winter, and December is my favourite Winter month. I am festive AF, I adore the festive season. Christmas Jumpers, Christmas markets, and Christmas itself.... are brilliant. I also love snow, being in the snow, driving in snow and building snowmen. However, in my experience, skiing holidays, are simply shite.


I will admit, that my dislike for skiing is probably irrational. It is driven partly by the fact that a bloke that I consider the World's biggest nobhead loves it. This bloke I would describe as the most sanctimonious, supercilious, smug prick you could ever hope to meet. No brains and no class. I had the pleasure of working with him once upon a time, so feel eminently qualified to describe him like this. So you see, Skiing, despite being enjoyed by a vast amount of perfectly normal, probably beautiful people, and for an outrageous number of years, to me is just about the worst pastime ever. Involving endless amounts of complication, hassle, equipment, money, and discomfort. Nothing is rewarding or fun about it, and it is done by people like that half-witted bellend.

Assertion One: "It's fucking stupid"

Here are the basics of skiing broken down for you. You pack up all your shit and fly to a holiday destination. You then get on a transfer to a resort perched in the shadow of a bloody big mountain, and covered in snow. This is where the beauty ends. The resort is perfectly chocolate box idyllic in the snow - but then you dress in a ridiculous amount of layers and take some kind of lift to the top of said mountain. Once there, you put long sticks on your feet, and slide back down the mountain only to need to transport your way back up via said lift. This you do again and again until you've had enough. Literally, someone show me where the fun or the logic is in this because I don't see it - especially when most of that downtime is spent on your arse or snow ploughing with your face.

Assertion Two: "It's uncomfortable"

Every aspect of skiing is simply unpleasant. Most of the time you're in the cold, your vision probably inhibited by snow and fog. Alternatively, and even worse, it might be sunny, which means you have to put on sunscreen and you're sweating like a pig in your six layers of clothing. Skiing salopettes do not flatter anyone, helmets are wobbly and last seen on your next door neighbour's 13 year old skateboarding son, the gloves are just straight up impractical, the Ski boots are like ankle braces, and the skis themselves are just about as easy to manoeuvre as a bin lorry. Furthermore, I think ski lifts are engineered specifically to maybe make you look like a clumsy oaf, but definitely to ensure your back feels broken by the end of the day. Oh and need to go for a pee or worse a poo? That'll set you back just about half a day, when you eventually find your way gingerly down a mountainside to the khazi.

Assertion Three: "It's difficult"

Skiing is one of those things people who are good at it do for 'fun', when it's actually just a sport in disguise. It is very ill-advisable to just jump on some skis and go for it. Instead, you really have to learn to ski. And even once you know how to, it's never particularly relaxing. I don't know about others, but after a full day of skiing I am absolutely fucking exhausted. The last trip I did was a good 20 years after the first, it was a work trip sponsored by a large energy drink company that gives you wings. As this was the case, tuition was included - but the instructor insisted that because I had been skiing before, and because I could ice skate, I would be best in the intermediate group... big mistake. The slopes are never empty when you make a complete tit of yourself by falling off the ski lift, face planting or accidentally hitting the black run.

Assertion Four: "It's dangerous"

Skiing literally entails sliding down a mountain simultaneously with countless other people, and just hoping for the best. Lets be honest, most people are fucking shit at skiing like me, they are absolute weapons on a slope. So, not only are you trying to manage your own movements, but you also have to pay attention to me, the arsehole coming down behind you on my face. Or if you are me, watching out for Mr Smug coming down those slopes not giving a fuck about other people. I have been skied into plenty of times and, trust me, it is not fun. You are much safer going for a hot chocolate in a hot-tub, or hitting the apres ski around breakfast time. Theres a funny thing - drunk in charge of skis - whoever thinks mixing skiing with alcohol is a good idea shouldn't be allowed on a ski slope in the first place.

Assertion Five: "It's privileged"

The general reaction of 'ski vets' to someone mentioning they've never been skiing is shock. As though they believe that skiing is a life skill, the same as swimming... A lot of these people, particularly ones like the dickhead mentioned earlier, fail to recognise that skiing is ultimately a privilege, and not one which everyone gets. Skiing is an expensive sport: you can't just do it anywhere, so it usually requires a nice holiday. The equipment is an extremely large investment and passes to slopes are steep too. Not to mention how much of a remortgage you may need to buy food and drinks on the slopes.



In my experience


Overall, there is absolutely nothing redeeming or fun about the practice of skiing. Honestly, it's just a poor excuse for people to waste their money and get plastered on holiday while pretending to do exercise. This is why, I much prefer the practice of sitting in a hot tub with a large glass of something very alcoholic, watching over the slopes from the hotel spa.

In my 'extensive' experience, a load of teenagers puking up Opal Fruits at regular intervals

Scotland

Scotland taught me very little about anything I can really remember, other than it was bloody cold, and a fucking long way on a coach with a load of teenagers puking up Opal Fruits at regular intervals. So you see my intro to the delights of skiing were limited. I was expecting Lake Placid and a resort worthy of the Winter Olympics - what I got was.... Well what I got wasn't that which was imagined.


Cyprus

Cyprus didn't fare too much better. Lets be honest, who knew you could go skiing in Cyprus ? Anybody ? Don't all rush at once... Here is an interesting story, the snow in Cyprus is amazing up the Troodos mountains, the locals have a race each year to build a snowman on the back of a flatbed pickup, then drive it down the mountain to place the snowman on the beach before it melts. Fucking nutters I tell you.


I was proper thrown in at the deep end in Cyprus - I went on a winter break to see my ex-inlaws who lived out there for a while. The climate on the beach in December was lovely, so quite why they chose to go up the mountain is beyond me. They weren't my ex-inlaws at the time, so of course, I wasn't going to back down and I professed of my extensive experience skiing in Scotland.


There were a number of 'firsts' here, most notably my first experience of a drag lift. This is just what it says, you place your skis in the well worn grooves, you put a T bar between your legs and the wire then drags you up the mountainside. No need to sit, just let the drag do the work... She went first and whoosh off she went up the mountainside, followed by some very professional-looking skiers, then it was my turn.


I eventually arrived at the top being dragged by one foot, with a jacket full of snow, and ice burn on my face - it was true, don't sit on a drag lift or you will fall off. Upon reaching the top, everybody I knew had clearly thought 'fuck it' and set off down without me. I could see through the hazy sunshine and in the distance, swathes of skiers slowly moving side to side, like graceful ballerinas, it looked effortless. This is a piece of piss I thought to myself, I have watched the Winter Olympics, I can do this. I set off, slowly at first, trying to remember if I put weight on the outside foot or the inside foot. The concentration was immense as I recalled the lesson of all those years ago. It was irrelevant in the end, my skis had a mind of their own. They straightened facing directly down the slope, and I was away - waving my sticks in the air and shouting 'get out of the way' and 'I can't stop' with gusto. I must have broken some sort of slope record that day. I was going so fast, I couldn't steer, it would have been far too dangerous to just fall over, so I went with it, quickly realising the cafe was approaching and I was in no position to stop. I was so lucky that there was a small path that went up the side of the restaurant, and that this was where my skis took me... I was recovered (still upright I may add) from the carpark by the warden, shitting my pants and in dire need of alcohol.... so that's why apres-ski is a thing!


Me. looking thrilled to be trying this for the third time...

 

Austria

My third attempt. I was thrilled when the CEO called me and said that I had 'won' a place on the Winter Wonderland trip sponsored by the drink that gives you wings. Well it had been another 14 years since the last disaster - maybe I had got better with age ?


On the trip were a whole variety of people, with varying levels of skill when it comes to snow sports. Then there was Mr. Smug - lets call him Twat for ease of reference - Twat was an expert - well he fucking would be wouldn't he, had to be good at something.


Day One: We all had a briefing as described earlier. I was put in the intermediate group with a few others. We had the choice of run to tackle, and the plan was to meet at the restaurant for lunch. I had the choice of lift from this point, I chose the drag lift to the nursery slope - sounded gentle. Remembering my last experience of a drag lift I was determined not to fuck it up, as a result of this concentration, I only fell off twice. The nursery slope was anything but gentle, it was rammed with expert kids and old people, and there were trees to manouvre round, I spent more time on my arse than my feet, I decided that the best thing was get to the restaurant and come up with a plan. The restaurant was quite full as I walked in, when suddenly the waiter went mad at me - in broken English he was trying to tell me to leave. I asked him what his problem was - adding 'Pal' for effect at the end of the sentence.


How was I to know you should take your skis off and leave them outside?


Over a lovely fondue, Apple Tart and Coffee, I looked at the map and concluded that as I was a secret novice and couldn't turn yet, that I would be best taking on one of these straight looking red runs. They also took me all the way down to the town, where the bar and hotel would be waiting. Perfect.


I got on to the ski lift thinking I would get off at the first stop. Twat was on the same lift in his mirrored goggles and with white lips. I began to feel that I may have slipped up somewhere. I hopped off at the first stop, and thankfully he carried on up, being the expert and all.


I was delighted with my choice, there was not a tree in sight. Edged over to the start of the run, and realised the error of my ways, it was like a vertical wall of ice. I spent that day edging down a mountain on my backside. I tried to stand up once and was at mach2 within seconds. I stopped myself my snowploughing with my face for 50 metres or so. Eventually I got back to the village in the early evening dusk, and had to admit to myself and the rest of the trip that I couldn't ski for toffee. An orgy of piss taking followed - especially from Smug Twat.


Day Two: had a monumental hangover, and following my day one experience went back to the green slopes. Got to the drag lift, stuck the thing between my legs, sat down.... FFS this time it dragged me by the nads all the way up to the top - probably one of the low points of my adult life.


I dusted myself down and gingerly headed down hill. I sat down on the back of my skis and found myself gathering speed, trying to use a pole as some kind of rudder. I shot through a group of school kids half way up, and finally came to a stop in a snow bank wrapped in that orange plastic fencing - whilst one of my skis went straight on and made its own way back to the village.


I decided that Days 3 to 5 were better spent in the hot tub overlooking the slopes, and that being bruised from head to foot, with underpants full of ice was really no fun.


And so not only is skiing itself dangerous, and all those other things - but I cannot do it - at all. I have tried and failed in glorious style.


In summary, It is a sad fact, that from my poll of 1 - everybody I know that is good at skiing, is a complete fucking tool.




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